Did petty politics lead to traffic-snarling lane closures on the nation's busiest bridge? That question, which has dogged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for weeks, could end up tarnishing his prospective 2016 presidential bid.
KAI RYSSDAL: Angela Merkel was sworn in as the Chancellor of Germany again today. It's her third term running Europe's biggest economy. Germany's doing pretty well compared to its neighbors. Take, as just one measure, youth unemployment. It sits at almost 24 percent across the European Union. Less than 8 percent in Germany. This week our man in Europe Stephen Beard is surveying the state of young people without jobs across the continent for a series called Jobless Generation.
STEPHEN BEARD: At a gym in Dusseldorf , in northern Germany a trainer puts an exercise class through its paces. Among the exercisers a young , jobless Spaniard letting off steam...
JOSE MANUEL MORRENO: ( breathless) It helps with the stress of course. A good way to let it out.
BEARD: It helps with stress?
MORRENO: Of course, of course (panting) I'm breathless …I'm sorry
BEARD: Jose Manuel Morreno is a 29-year-old doctor from northern Spain. The intense hour-long exercise routine is one of his ways of coping with unemployment. Among his other strategies: emigrating and learning German. Four and a half hours a day for eight months -- here at the Goethe Institute in Dusseldorf -- Jose has been getting to grips with one of Europe's most difficult languages -- and handling the hardships of emigration.
MORRENO: It's not easy. It's not a piece of cake because you're leaving a lot of things behind , especially like family and friends . But I don't regret it. Once you take the step there's no turning back.
BEARD: At least in Germany -- after he's learned the language -- he has the certainty of a job. German hospitals urgently need at least 7,000 doctors. Back home in Spain half of Jose's age group faces a workless future
MORRENO: If you want to make a living, if you want to progress, be happy -- bottom line, it's sadly it's going abroad.
BEARD: Increasingly for young unemployed southern Europeans going aboard means coming here to Germany. With its low birth rate, ageing population and relatively buoyant economy, Germany needs young skilled workers.
LENOR VILLA LOBOS: It's easier to find a job in Germany. It's probably the best place to find a job in engineering in Europe.
BEARD: 26-year-old Lenor Villa Lobos from Portugal. She graduated as a Geomatics Engineer, spent a year out of work -- back home and now she's also here at the Goethe Institute learning German
LOBOS: I thought maybe I'll start searching for a job here. Of course, I prefer Portugal but now it's almost impossible to find a job there or at least a good job where I can be well paid.
(Phone rings. Stefan Brunner answers)
BEARD: In his office at the Dusseldorf branch of Goethe Institute, the affable director Stefan Brunner can see an upside to youth unemployment in southern Europe. The Institute is teaching more German language courses than ever. And -- he says -- emigration is helping European unity.
STEFAN BRUNNER: It's very tragic what's going on in southern Europe but at the same time I think this might be a good chance for the future. If you're trying to get people in Europe from different countries closer together.
BEARD: But the young southern Europeans making the move and trying to mingle with their northern counterparts have mixed feelings. Jose Manuel Morreno is grateful to Germany but how does he feel about his native Spain.
MORRENO: I feel betrayed. I feel there are no opportunities. There's nothing for us back in Spain. So yes, I feel betrayed. So do my friends. So do my generation.
BEARD: And 24-year-old Stamatia Konstanta, a qualified dietician from Greece misses the warmth of home, while determined to find work in this cooler northern climate
BEARD: Do you see yourself living all your life here?
STAMATIA KONSTANTA: No I don't think so ( laughs) I don't want to live all my life here. They're not happy.
BEARD: They're not happy? You think they're miserable?
KONSTANTA: Maybe it's the weather ( laughs)
BEARD: Tomorrow I'm heading south…to sunny Spain….where in spite of horrendous levels of unemployment many young people cannot bear to tear themselves away from home. In Dusseldorf, Germany I'm Stephen Beard for Marketplace.
The pope removed a conservative American cardinal, who was a leading critic of abortion and gay marriage and replaced him with a more moderate voice.
Alongside the tales of the newly, minted, young male billionaire tech entrepreneurs, another narrative is bubbling: The absence of women.
The data speaks for itself. 80 percent of people graduating with computer science degrees are men. By some estimates, up to 90 percent of the engineering teams at start-ups are men and 97 percent of the companies in Silicon Valley are started-up by men.
To break in, women are starting to learn the tech industry's rules of engagement, and that's on display at the Hackbright Academy, a coding school for women.
I visited the school on 'Recruitment Day,' where tech companies conduct speed interviews. 24 year old Jee Kang, who just finished the Academy’s 10-week crash course, was showing off a photo app she built to recruiter Paul Sri, who works with online-textbook company Chegg.
Kang explained that her app is modeled on Japanese photo booths. "Have you seen Google Hangouts, where you can try on a scuba masks and like a hat? Well, that’s actually my next thing," Kang says.
Kang didn’t study computer science in college, she was a middle school teacher. A lot of women you find at these academies sprouting up all over Silicon Valley work in tech, but mostly as product managers, marketers and researchers. Instead of playing what some of them describe as “support roles,” these women want to make stuff too.
In the past, women felt they needed to take the traditional route and get an engineering degree. This sort of self-training can be a new concept for women, but Sri says men have been doing it this way since the beginning.
"Most people who I know who do programming did not study computer science, and really no exposure to programming at all," Sri says.
Silicon Valley is infamously male dominated, but Cindy Padnos says that doesn’t mean women have to behave like one to get ahead. Padnos founded Illuminate Ventures, a high-tech venture capital firm. She’s part of a growing number of women, who lead funds that are trying to identify women founders and advisors.
"I really don’t want to go out there and encourage women to be like men, I don’t think that’s a good answer either," says Padnos. She says women have a lot to offer when it comes to running a company. They’re often more collaborative, and generally more open to ideas.
"When I see a pitch from a male entrepreneur, it’s typically much more aggressive in terms of their revenue plan, so I’m busily discounting, well they’ll do half of that," she said. Whereas, more often than not, Padnos says women are more realistic.
For now, Padnos says that blind spot is turning into a competitive edge. 20 percent of start-ups Illuminate Ventures backs are founded by women, significantly higher than the industry average.
Independent radio producer Todd Melby has been working on a series, "Black Gold Boom," about the people taking part in -- or getting swept up in -- the oil boom in western North Dakota. The boom has brought tens of thousands of new workers to the state.
For a lot of them, it's a chance to start over. In this segment, Todd talks to Elsie Ejismekwu, who drives a truck by day and a taxi by night.
"I went through a divorce and we had a five bedroom house that we had to sell and the market was so low on it and I just wanted a fresh start."
Todd Melby's series, "Black Gold Boom," is an initiative of Prairie Public and the Association for Independents in Radio.
President Obama frustrated and angered many of his supporters this year, from his policies on drones and spying to his muddled message on whether to authorize airstrikes in war-torn Syria. He will end the year with sagging approval ratings.
A chronic brain disease afflicts former pro football players, boxers and others who suffer repeated brain injuries. Doctors now can only diagnose it with certainty after someone dies. But researchers are working on tests that could work while people are alive.
I can find a money lesson in nearly anything. Case in point, there is wisdom buried in the madness of coverage regarding Beyonce’s surprise-album-release. A piece of feedback our blessed Mama Bey received on her Facebook page was a creative response from a fan – feedback that turned into an online sensation (language: NSFW or toddlers). Looking beyond the well-parsed expletives and the vegan cupcakes, what caught my money-tuned eyes was this quote: “Do you realize how many people thought they were gonna buy a good ass lunch tomorrow but now have to forgo those plans … because you demanded everybody’s last coin?”
Yup, folks. We make choices with our money. And for some of the now nearly 1 million buyers of ‘Beyonce’, it’s between bringing the magic of Mrs. Sean Carter into their ears vs. eating more than Ramen for lunch. Tough choices, and I sympathize. If this happened when I was in my 20s, I’d be making the same choice.
We talked about these daily spending decisions the other week on the show. I was joined by a couple who talked about how the excuses we make when money is tight have a lot to do with how we choose to spend our money. Afya Ibomu, wife of half the rap duo Dead Prez, a.k.a. Stic, noted that when it comes to people saying that healthy food costs too much: “If you drink alcohol, if you smoke cigarettes, if you have more than basic cable, if your kids have video games, [if] you're on name brands, if you can afford to do these things, you can afford to eat healthier. [I]t goes back to priorities.”
That’s not to say that making those choices is easy. There was an internet hullabaloo last month in response to the blogger KillerMartini who wrote about how she spent money on cigarettes even though she knew it wasn’t a good choice, for her health or her money. When money is that tight, the stress alone makes it hard to make the right choices every single time. I’ve been there; we’ve probably all been there.
But if we’re in a better position now, why are we still ‘there’? If you have money now to get all your bills paid and you’re enjoying a fairly solid quality of life, why still bemoan your inability to afford the things that will give you true and real financial stability? For example, you’re carrying credit card debt or have struggled building an emergency fund. Are you really making the right choices day in and day out? What have you done to set aside another $100 a month -- what do you chose to spend your money on?
Our money choices start early. I recently started my 7-year old on an allowance of $5 a week. This weekend she asked me if I could buy her some “coins” for an app she was playing. I told her sure, but it’s going to have to come out of your allowance. It was $4.99. “That’s all my allowance...” she mumbled. Yup. But would you rather have those coins for that one game or get two more games for $.99 each and save the rest of your money? Her eyebrows went up: “I’m going to look for two more games ... Then I’ll have two games and money left over!” Of course, it’s all about enjoyment and personal return when it comes to choosing games, but my point was taken. I wanted to teach her about choice and the power of thinking spending choices through. Where do you get the most value for your money? Are there other choices you could make that could save you money and help you reach goals? Once a week, look at something you regularly buy and ask: “Can I do this differently and for less?”
And for the record, “Beyonce” is slammin’.
In 2011 the radio preacher famously said — twice — that the world was about to end. Thousands of people professed their belief in his warnings. After they didn't prove true, he conceded that his predictions were "incorrect and sinful."
President Obama is hosting a high-profile group of technology executives at the White House on Tuesday. Almost every one was a big financial backer of the president's political career. Chad Dickerson, chief executive of Etsy, is among the group but only gave $500 to the Obama campaign.
President Obama is hosting a high-profile group of technology executives at the White House Tuesday. Almost every one was a big financial backer of the president's political career. Chad Dickerson, chief executive of Etsy, was among the group but only gave $500 to the Obama campaign.
Vitamin deficiencies can cause deadly diseases like scurvy, and other major health problems like spina bifida. But for most people, adding a multivitamin to their daily routine doesn't affect their health at all, studies say. Still, 40 percent of Americans continue to take multivitamins.
Formerly, Kurt DelBene oversaw Microsoft's Office division. He will take over for Jeff Zients, who was appointed after the website launched with crippling issues.
Most social networks require users to be at least 13. But Itay Eshet's daughter, like many kids, wanted to join Facebook when she was just 10. So Eshet created a site just for younger kids, designed to protect them from bullying and other risks while teaching them to navigate social media safely.
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn is out with his annual account of "wasteful and low-priority spending." He says he's tallied up nearly $30 billion from 2013 alone.
For the first time in decades, America's obesity rate remained flat this past year, according to the United Health Foundation. Tell Me More host Michel Martin speaks with Dr. Reed Tuckson about the report. Marquette University Professor Andrew Williams, who is developing a robot to help children exercise and make better nutritional choices, also joins the conversation.
The death of world leaders and celebrities dominated both world and U.S. searches. Oh, and lots of people also searched for the Harlem shake.
President Obama is meeting with tech industry leaders this morning. One of the big issues on the table is the National Security Agency’s big surveillance program. A federal judge just ruled that some of the government’s practices were probably in violation of the Constitution. The executives Obama is meeting with today, including Eric Schmidt from Google and Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook, have publicly called on the government to scale back its data collection.
“Pot, meet kettle,” says tech analyst Laura Didio. She says although these companies are also collecting our data, it doesn’t compare to the scale of what the government is doing.
“The NSA is 8 times bigger than the CIA,” Didio says. “The NSA’s secrets have secrets.”
Now tech companies are worried that concerns about government spying could rub off on their bottom lines. “If the U.S. is simply going to camp out on every server of every social network, you’re going to see a real chilling of relationships between the consumer and the networks, says Will Riegel, with Point3 Consulting.
“That starts costing a significant amount of money,” Riegel says.
Riegel says companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Apple are worried about seeming too welcoming of government surveillance. They’re also aware that any regulations that come out of the NSA scandal could affect their own data collection practices.
Flu season is in full swing and as many of us get ready to travel for the holidays, we’re all trying our remedies of choice to avoid getting sick. A lot of people use antibacterial hand soap to help stay flu-free. But now, the Food and Drug Administration is asking makers of antibacterial soap to prove their product is more effective than regular soap.
In today's tech world -- alongside the tales of the newly-minted, young male billionaire entrepreneurs -- another narrative is emerging: the comparative absence of women. Up to 90 percent of the engineering teams at start-ups are men. Some women in the Valley are trying to engineer some change.
The Beatles have a new release out today on iTunes -- "new" in the sense that these are recordings that have never been sold commercially. There are 59 songs including some outtakes from BBC and studio sessions and a few demos from 1963. The reason for the release has more to do with copyright law than demand.
The jackpot could reach a seemingly impossible $1 billion if no one wins in Tuesday's drawing. Experts say the odds of winning are astronomical, but lottery officials say ticket sales are ahead of projections.